Tanegashima Island is the location where guns were first introducted to Japan and the site of the most advanced space base in the nation.
Tanegashima island is situated south of the Osumi Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture and is the location where guns were first introduced to Japan in the 16th century. It is also known for having the largest and the most technologically advanced space center in Japan, from which statellites and rockets are launched. The island is relatively flat with the highest point measured at 282m above sea level, and is long and narrow, spanning 57.5km north to south and a mere 5-12 km to west.
The Tanegashima Kaihatsu Sogo Center in Nishinoomote City in northern Tanegashima is a unique exhibition. On display is the first gun ever made in Japan, called the Tanegashima teppo gun. The Every summer the island hosts the Tanegashima Teppo Festival during which matchlock guns are fired and floats parade the streets during the Nanban Parade. It is an event truly worth seeing.
In Nakatane Town in the center of the island is the Tanegashima Airport. On the west coast is Nagahama beach, a beach known for its beautiful white sands and sea turtles. To the east are other scenic areas including Kumano beach and the Matate-no-iwaya and Chikura-no-iwaya strange and bizarre rock formations.
At the southernmost end of Minamitane Town is the Tanegashima Space Center. Around the Space Center is an actual launching site, control tower, and the Space Museum where visitors are welcome to enjoy outer space experiences through simulations.
[Air] 1h 50 min from Haneda to Kagoshima Airport. 40 min from Kagoshima to Tanegashima Airport. 1h 30 min from Kagoshima Port to Tanegashima Nishino-omote Port by jetgoil ferry.
[Air] 1h 10 min from Itami or Kansai International Airport to Kagoshima Airport. 2h from Itami to Tanegashima Airport.